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Living life on purpose

177 miles later

By Andy Little

Posted 22nd Jun 2022

A while ago, good friends of mine, Iain and Beth introduced me to their inspiring best friend, Sally.

Sally was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a couple of years ago. After conquering Hadrian’s Wall in 2021, Sally had set herself the target of trekking the 177 miles of Offa’s Dyke and raising £10,000 for Parkinson’s UK. I was privileged to join Sally’s support team of five.

I wrote to Emery Little clients and friends in May telling Sally’s story. Many of you responded with tremendous generosity, contributing towards Sally’s target and I’d like to say thank you for the support we received – both in donations and morale.

The long walk

I am delighted to say Team Sally enjoyed a tremendous fortnight.  Thanks to Strava, I can say that we reached Prestatyn having trekked 312 kilometres or 194 miles, with 9,793 metres of ascent. It’s even more staggering if I share that Everest is 8,850 metres! 

Sally worried me on day seven. She kept going but was clearly running on empty. Everyone we met along the route were including a day or rest. We weren’t. I suggested to Sally’s husband, Richard, that Sally had a rest day to recharge and re-join us on day nine.

But, Sally was having none of that. In the end, the compromise was to divide the contents of Sally’s rucksack between the five of us. I am delighted to say that this inspiring lady bounced back and smashed it! 

For those who enjoy walking, I would recommend Offa’s Dyke without hesitation. The scenery is amazing and we were fortunate to benefit from great weather. When Jo returned from her delayed honeymoon in Bali, she was jealous of my Welsh sun tan.

In our case, we were surrounded by support. The core group of six – Sally, Sally’s husband Richard, friends Iain and Beth, Doctor Anna – completed the full 14 days, but most days we were joined by friends and representatives of Parkinson’s UK. Over the course of the walk, 40 people joined us with ages ranging from four months to 93 years.

Sally set herself the target of raising £10,000 for Parkinson’s and the generosity of so many means that she has actually raised £15,050. Thank you – I wish you could see Sally’s delight at this achievement.

Finally, as we approached Prestatyn I was told about the tradition of finishing with a swim in the sea. The bracing weather meant that we limited ourselves to a celebratory paddle. If this story has inspired you, Sally’s JustGiving page is still open here.